The Anaheim Ducks annonced on Tuesday that they have acquired defenseman Nigel Williams from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Stu Bickel.
Williams, 22 (4/18/88), has appeared in 12 contests for the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, earning one assist with two penalty minutes (PIM). In 2009-10 with Hartford, the 6-5, 237-pound blueliner established a career high in assists and ranked tied for third among team defensemen in goals (4-16=20). A native of Aurora, IL, Williams made his professional hockey debut with the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) in 2008-09, earning 7-14=21 points in a career high 70 games. In 138 career AHL contests, Williams has notched 11-31=42 points with 107 PIM.
Selected by Colorado in the second round (51st overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Williams was acquired by the NY Rangers from in exchange for Brian Fahey on July 16, 2009. Williams played two seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with Saginaw and Belleville, earning 32-50=82 points with 192 PIM in 113 games. He won a Memorial Cup with the Belleville Bulls during the 2007-08 season, when he ranked tied for fifth among OHL defensemen in regular season goals.
Bickel, 24 (10/2/86), appeared in six contests with Syracuse (AHL) this season, earning 0-3=3 points with 14 PIM and a +1 rating. He also played in one game for the Elmira Jackals (ECHL). Signed by Anaheim as a free agent on July 2, 2008, Bickel has appeared in 63 career AHL contests, scoring 2-6=8 points with 103 PIM. A native of Chanhassen, MA, Bickel played one season of college hockey with the University of Minnesota of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), collecting 1-5=6 points in 45 games before turning pro.